Ayodele Odusola, Acting Resident Coordinator and Head of the United Nations in South Africa, has expressed sadness over the rising death toll from floods in the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces earlier this week.
“We share the sentiments expressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa, that indeed this is devastating and we as the UN in South Africa express our condolences to the families of the victims who have lost their lives. We call on the private sector, civil society organisations, and the international community to support government to provide much-needed assistance to the families impacted by this catastrophic flooding,” says the UN in a statement.
Thousands of people have been left homeless with roads, houses and public infrastructure severely damaged.
The United Nations in South Africa says it stays ready to extend support to the government’s response and to the communities affected.
“Families residing on the embankments of rivers in informal settlements and already vulnerable are seeing their homes being washed away, walls and roofs collapsing and losing family members.”
The UN is also concerned about the impact of flooding in the Eastern Cape province in areas such as Port St. Johns, Greens Farm and other areas where communities are being forced to leave their homes as many homes are submerged in water.
“We urge communities to exercise caution, especially when crossing rivers, streams and roads that are reportedly impassable. These recurring flood events are a stark reminder that a just transition in South Africa requires not only focusing on decarbonisation but also paying strong attention to adaptation.”
The UN has also called for communities to help each other during his difficult time.